The portable fire extinguisher is a highly important piece of safety equipment. The purpose of the extinguisher is to save lives and protect property. As such, it is important to know how to use these devices properly. In addition, the question may be asked, “How long do fire extinguishers last?” The answer can depend on various factors.
If you have fire extinguishers on your property that become damaged or are past their expiration date, then having these inadequate devices on hand can put the safety individuals and property at risk. Let’s review below some elements that determine how long these extinguishers last.
Fire Extinguisher Placements
When a fire emergency takes place, fire extinguishers should be available for quick access for the purpose of saving lives and mitigating property damage. It’s important for portable extinguishers to be accessible in all cooking areas, near closets and electrical panels, near or in restrooms and garbage areas and other locations that may pose a fire risk.
Unfortunately, as we answer the question, “How long do fire extinguishers last?”, we know that just as with many pieces of equipment, these extinguishers can become defective, break, or simply lose their effectiveness if they are not maintained or replaced at proper intervals.
When Replacement May Be Necessary
Fire extinguishers need to be tested, inspected, and sometimes upgraded or replaced. Problems that can necessitate an upgrade for replacement of a fire extinguisher include:
- Moisture and rust causing key complements to lock or break
- Dirt and dust accumulation in nozzles and gauges
- Dropping or bumping that causes damage to the unit
- Vibrations from nearby equipment that damages critical components
- Pressure gauge needle indicating replacement
- Poor quality non-NFPA certified extinguisher
- Old extinguisher – typically extinguishers can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years
As we conclude our discussion about the question “How long do fire extinguishers last?”, it’s important to note how necessary it is for these portable extinguishers to function properly in compliance with all local fire protection codes and standards. In order to ensure this takes place, it is beneficial to obtain reliable inspection services from a company that thoroughly understands fire extinguishers and fire code compliance issues.